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Alzheimer’s Association Hides New Partnership With Lobbying Group for Assisted Suicide

By Alexander Raikin


Editor’s Note: Hours after the publication of this piece, the Alzheimer’s Association issued a press release announcing it would sever its relationship with Compassion & Choices. The Alzheimer’s Association said that it had “failed to do appropriate due diligence” and that the values of Compassion & Choices are “inconsistent with those of the Association.” Our original reporting, which led to this announcement, is below. 

Selling assisted suicide to “historically marginalized communities” is a difficult business, because it tends to kill prospective clients and smacks of eugenics. Compassion & Choices, the nation’s largest and most active assisted suicide lobbying group, has found a new way to remedy this. It has enlisted the help—and data—of a trusted brand: the Alzheimer’s Association.

It’s a bizarre fit. While the Alzheimer’s Association spends considerable resources to overcome what it describes as “the stigma” of Alzheimer’s and dementia, the CEO of Compassion & Choices, Kim Callinan, has described dementia as “a fate worse than death.”

Compassion & Choices was known as the Hemlock Society until the group’s support for fellow member Jack Kevorkian—and his increasing number of so-called mercy killings—tainted the brand. While the Hemlock Society celebrated Kevorkian’s actions, the Alzheimer’s Association issued a statement in opposition, noting that “we must … affirm the right to dignity and life for every Alzheimer patient and cannot condone suicide.”




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